Awards for Young Musicians (AYM) has welcomed 189 young musicians to its 2020 Awards programme, the highest number in its 22 year history, having received a record number of eligible applications this year.

Each young person will receive a means-tested grant of up to £2000 to pay for key musical costs such as instruments, equipment, music lessons and travel, plus support to cater to their individual circumstances.

The programme is specifically designed to help young people with exceptional musical potential from lower income families in the UK. The news therefore comes at a poignant time, as the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the financial challenges faced by many families.

AYM Chief Executive Hester Cockcroft comments: “We’re delighted to announce this year’s Award winners. Musical talent is everywhere, but more than ever, opportunity isn’t. AYM is here to change this and our Awards programme is vital in helping enable talented young people in financial need achieve their musical potential. We’re very much looking forward to working with them!”

The Award winners represent a spectrum of musical interests, genres and mediums, although AYM is perhaps best known for its support of young instrumentalists. This year’s Award winners range from students of violin and piano through to the electric guitar and drums, to Irish bodhrán and Andean charango.

AYM has also increased its support for young people creating original music, from classical composers to songwriters and electronic music producers. 

Many former Award winners have achieved great success in their musical careers, such as Jess Gillam who is now AYM’s youngest Patron, Julian Bliss, Sean Shibe, Gavin Higgins, Duncan Ward and BBC Young Musicians winners Jennifer Pike and Martin James Bartlett.

Three 2019 Award winners also progressed to the category finals of this year’s BBC Young Musician competition: Thomas Luke, Jacky Zhang and Isaac Harari. The Finals will take place in Autumn 2020.

About Awards for Young Musicians

Musical talent is everywhere but opportunity isn’t: family finances and other obstacles too often get in the way. AYM is here to change this is two key ways. By:
• Supporting young musicians from low income families, with funding and other help
• Supporting music education through training, advocacy and research.

This combination creates real impact.

To find out more, visit